Gaming, social media, selfies: This clinic in Bengaluru helps tech addicts log off

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Gaming, social media, selfies: This clinic in Bengaluru helps tech addicts log out


Professor Manoj Kumar Sharma operates the clinic

Among the many case research on the know-how de-addiction clinic or the Service for Wholesome Use of Know-how (SHUT) clinic on the Nationwide Institute of Psychological Well being and Neurosciences in Bengaluru is that of a 21-year-old school scholar who took selfies each 15-20 minutes.

Medical doctors mentioned her obsession with the thought that her look is in some way flawed was the consequence of a psychological well being ailment known as physique dysmorphic dysfunction. She was handled with a mix of treatment and behavior change methods, primarily focussed on restructuring the pondering course of at Nimhans.

“There was enchancment in two months,” says the case report. “The result of the remedy was optimistic. 15 periods have been carried out with the shopper. Mirror use lowered to 5-6 instances per day. Cell use lowered to 2-Three hours a day,’’ says the report.

Since 2014, the SHUT clinic at Nimhans, arrange by medical psychology professor, Manoj Kumar Sharma, has devised methods for its remedy and care of “know-how habit”. It’s a mannequin that might quickly turn out to be the usual for remedy at extra locations in India.

Final week, the psychiatry division on the King George Medical College in Lucknow determined to start out an analogous clinic. “Seeing the variety of sufferers coming to us with such points rising, we felt the necessity for the same clinic in Lucknow. We get at the very least ten instances day by day associated to extreme use of know-how,” says head of the division, Dr P Okay Dalal. The clinics, named “Providers for Problematic use of know-how” will doubtless begin subsequent month.

In Bengaluru, the SHUT clinic has lined gaming, Web, social media, purchasing and pornography to the more moderen habit — streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

A sequence of research carried out within the metropolis, which revealed excessive ranges of know-how habit particularly within the 15 to 30 age group, prompted Prof Sharma to start out the clinic to assist individuals break know-how’s management over their lives.

“Since 2008, I’ve been finishing up some analysis or the opposite on this space to grasp the phenomena of know-how use. Why individuals use know-how and what its penalties are. Although it has advantages we’re taking a look at it from the psychological well being perspective and we are attempting to see how know-how use impacts psychological well being of a person,” he says.

A examine carried out on 300 individuals within the 18-25 age group, revealed that 17 per cent have been within the class of extreme to extreme use of the Web. Additionally, a examine on social media utilization amongst one other 300 individuals confirmed 5.7 per cent have been utilizing Fb and different social media platforms excessively and a bigger door-to-door survey of two,750 individuals funded by the Indian Council of Medical Analysis (ICMR) revealed 5-9 per cent within the 15 to 50 age group have been addicted.

“Web habit is identified utilizing screening questions primarily based on craving, management, compulsion, and penalties and Younger’s standards for web habit (salience, extreme use, neglecting work, anticipation, lack of management, and neglecting social actions),” he says.

In 2014, when he began, the clinic noticed only one or two purchasers each fortnight. “However after consciousness unfold, we started seeing two to a few instances per week within the second yr and this has now elevated to seven to eight instances per week,” he says.

“We see younger individuals within the age group of 15-20 which is the predominant age group. Typically, we get a number of 11-year-olds. There are additionally older individuals within the 21-30 age group who additionally are available principally for pornography habit.”

More often than not it’s mother and father who convey their kids to the clinic. “We don’t work on the know-how utilization initially. We work on way of life modifications – sleeping patterns, bodily well being, household communication,” he says.

“In a current case, a single boy little one was gaming 8-9 hours a day and was very irregular to varsity. The one difficulty was extreme know-how use and lack of curiosity in different actions. We labored initially on way of life modifications and communication. We made a contract for him to go three to 4 days to varsity however didn’t break his hyperlink with know-how,” he says.

There isn’t a normal length to deal with know-how habit and there’s no hospitalisation concerned. “An eight-session program unfold over two months may very well be standardised. The principle focus of this system is behaviour and way of life change. Yoga can also be a key part of the remedy,” he says.

Sharma is now engaged on developing with a typical protocol for evaluation and remedy of know-how addictions that may be replicated wherever.

In Lucknow, Dr Dalal says there isn’t any time period for the situation but. “So let’s not name it a dysfunction or a illness. I really feel it’s a downside which must be addressed. The sufferers are principally kids and younger adults, some as younger as four or 5. Mother and father convey them right here with another points like headache, backache, anxiousness, melancholy and irritability, frustration, fall in grades at college and many others. Right here, we inform them that these issues are arising as a result of extreme use of know-how.”

“It’s important that folks, academics and youngsters are made conscious of the harms extreme use of know-how has. We are able to’t ignore know-how as a result of it’s indispensable,” he says.

(With Asad Rehman in Lucknow)



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